By Vance Ferrell

THE ORIGIN of the Adventist Reform Church in 1914-1925 has been falsified. With the exception of one leader (L.R. Conradi), Seventh-day Adventist denominational leaders DID NOT want their members to bear arms and DID NOT approve of disfellowshipping them for doing so.

THE GROWTH of the Adventist Reform Church has been a continual repetition of rivalries, power splits, and sheep stealing.

THE INTEGRITY of the Adventist Reform Church is, because of its leaders, fatally flawed-due to the morbid over-control of the members, the misuse of funds, the refusal to do those things the Spirit of Prophecy says to do, and the claim that they are the "Voice of God."

THE DOCTRINES of the Adventist Reform Church, which set them apart as unique, contain clear-cut errors.

THE BRANCHES of the Adventist Reform Church are multitude; yet all of them, including the two main branches, continually squabble and oppose each other. They claim to be the sole "Voice of God" on earth; yet they have the same tactics, activities, overcontrol, teachings, and errors.




Is the Adventist Reform Church Different Today?

1 - My Contacts with the Reform Church 

2 - Statement by a Former Reform Church Leader 

3 - Introduction to Reform Church History Reform SDA

4 - The Reform Church as Viewed by a Former Leader in the Nicolici Branch

Early History

Objectives, Authority, and Activity

 No Real Difference

Other Doctrinal Aspects

5 - The Reform Church as Viewed by a Former Leader in the Kramer Branch

Reconciliation Meetings

I Began Researching the Spirit of Prophecy

I Began Attending the Seventh-day Adventist Church

 Historical Research Intensified

The Civil War 

The 1914-1917 Crisis

Box: LA. Conradi

The Friedensau Conference

Early History of the Reform Church The 1934 Rift 

The 1948 Split

The 1951 Completion of the Split

The 1967 Brazil Meeting


6 - The Special Teachings of the Reform Church 

The 144,000

The Sealing

The Great Predicted Reformation

No Remarriage Possible

Excessively Long Hair

Nature of the Shaking and Sealing

The Voice of God

The Revelation 18 Angel 

Non-Doctrinal Issues  


It is important that you understand that this historical and doctrinal analysis is about the Seventh-day Adventist Reform Movement, not its members. Those who have been urged to join this organization are fine people. Often they are scattered and lonely, while being told that they must not associate with non-Reform Advent be­lievers.

Frequently they know little about the misuse of funds, political infighting, and mutual sheep stealing conducted by the leadership of the two main branches of the Reform. They generally know little about the power plays and heartbreak, which have marked the history of the Reform as it split and resplit over the years.

It is indeed a tragedy that L.R. Conradi instigated his high-handed disfellowshipping of faithful Seventh-day Adventists over seventy years ago —after the General Conference in Takoma Park told him not to, —and then when the Adventist leaders from Washington later apolo­gized and sought to heal the wound, the leaders of the injured brethren refused to reunite.

Many precious souls out in the world have not been reached, because thousands among the people of God were turned aside from active evangelism to sheep stealing among themselves. As you read these pages, please remember that the innocent members of the Reform are frequently extremely dedicated to Bible-Spirit of Prophecy principles. It is the Reform leadership, its teachings, and tactics, which is the problem. The members are not; they are, for the most part, very kindly folk


Learning that I was preparing this book, a friend walked in the door this week and told me his story;

"I was an Adventist medical missionary in Honduras. I preached in the churches, gave Bible studies, and did dental work. My work also in­cluded giving natural treatments.

"Down there, word of what is happening trav­els faster than up here in the States. And I was traveling a lot, working in the churches, raising up new ones.

"When a Reformista arrived, it always went the same way. He would preach "meat, meat, meat" to the members of the local Adventist church, mean­ing that they must stop eating meat. Then he would split the church and carry off perhaps half with him. He would take them down to the other side of town and they would build a grass hut or some­thing like it, and start a Reformista church.

"Then he would go off and leave them. There they were impoverished, trying to do the best they could, and now they had no preacher on Sabbaths, nothing. For he had already gone to do more 'soul­winning' in the next town.

"Pretty soon the new Reformista church would fall to pieces, as the people would drift away. They had nothing to keep them together. Most of them would go out in the world; but few returned to the local Adventist church.

"That's the way the Reform Church operates in the countryside of Central and much of South America. The Reform Church leaders have brought a lot of grief to the people of God."

Officially known as the Seventh-day Adventist Reform Movement or the Adventist Reform Church, this organization would appear to be the largest splinter offshoot of the Seventh-day Adventist denom­ination.

Yet, in reality, over the years it has undergone a remarkable number of split-offs within itself. The largest started in 1948 and climaxed in 1951, when the main body split right down the middle.

Many people refer to it by the name, the Ger­man Reform Church, because it largely began in Germany and many of its top leaders down through the years have been of German extraction.

Its members call themselves "reformers, " and they refer to the General Conference-based de­nomination (the one headquartered in Silver Spring, Maryland) as the "apostate church." To avoid confusion, throughout this study, “Adventist Church" will refer to the large denomination; "Re­form Church" will refer to either or both branches of the Seventh-day Adventist Reform Movement. Both branches teach and practice essentially the same things. Two other terms which will be used,  “Adventists" and "Reformers," are self-explanatory.

The first section in this study details my own experiences with the Reform Church, an organization which I never united with. Most of the fol­lowing sections were prepared by three former leaders in the Reform Church, all of which were highly placed in one or the other of its two main branches.

One of these two branches is the Nicollci branch. From the early 1950s onward, its world headquarters was in Sacramento, then in Los Angeles, then in New Jersey, and today in Virginia. It calls itself the Seventh-day Adventist Reform Movement. Its quarterly publication is the "Reformation Herald. " Its pioneering leader was D. Nicolici.

The other of the two main branches, commonly referred to as the Kramer branch, is headquar­tered in Speele, Germany (pronounced "Speel-eh"). Its U.S. branch was located in Sacramento for a time; but, while leaving behind a large congrega­tion in Sacramento in the mid -1950s, it was moved to Colorado, where it is still located. Also calling itself the Seventh-day Adventist Reform Movement, in later years, it took the official name, Interna­tional Missionary Society of Seventh-day Adven­tists, Reformation Movement. Its U.S. leader was Oscar Kramer.

Both of Oscar's sons pled for reform, without effect; then they left the church, researched into its history, and prepared analyses. One is printed in this present book. The other (The Seventh-day Adventist Reform Movement) was published in 1988 by the Biblical Research Institute in Silver Spring, Maryland.


In this book, we discuss the origins, history, activities, and teachings of the Reform Church. However, someone might say:

"Yes, the past may have been a problem. The origins were not as claimed; the history has in­deed been sordid; the activities have been rife with over-control, mutual animosities, and sheep stealing; and the teachings were riddled with error -yet everything is different today!

"The Reform Church today -that is, the branch I am in (not the other one)---is different than back then. It has none of those problems."

I was told that a couple days ago by a promi­nent Advent believer who recently joined one of the two main branches of the Reform Church. So I immediately contacted a former head­quarters leader of the Reform Church, and asked him what the condition of the two branches of the Reform Church are right now-at the end of 1997. This is an individual who has maintained very close contact with both for nearly half a cen­tury.

I asked him, "What about the erroneous teachings? Have they been corrected?"

His reply: "The doctrines of the Reform Church have not changed one whit. The church still makes the same claims it did years ago."

 I asked him, "Well, what about the hyper-management tactics and the dwarfing effects they have on the members?"

He answered, "The organizational over-con­trol of church members is the same as it has always been. And the members are stagnant as a result. They do little more than attend meet­ings."

"Well, then," I inquired, "what about the ac­tivities, the rivalries, mismanagement, and the sole Focus on proselytization of Advent believ­ers which used to take place?"

"The methods are exactly what they were before. The sheep stealing, by each branch, from the other and from the Adventist denomination continues apace, with no efforts to bring non­-Adventists to the truth."

"But what about the schools? Surely, they must have their own schools by now/"

"We are nearly to the end of the century, and they still have not established their own schools! They have one school in Brazil; in the U.S., they have seminars for Bible workers, -and that is about it. No church schools, other than an occasional one. They still send their children to pub­lic schools. The leaders, who are always wealth­ier, sometimes send their children to Adventist schools, all the while denouncing the Adventist Church as apostate and warning their members to have nothing to do with it."

“And what about the military?"

"Throughout the world, the Reform Church is doing today just as it did in World War II in Europe: They officially declare that their men do not take part in war -are not drafted, do not carry arms, nor fight and kill. While, unofficially, the Reform ministers are taught to watch for their young men who are nearing draft age. Then they tell them not to be baptized until after they have served their time in the army. When they get out ­if they come back to the church, -they are bap­tized. In other words, their young men serve in the military just as does everyone else in the country; except that the Reform Church does not baptize them until they come out.

"Both in their camp meetings and publications, the Reform Church presents itself as something it is not. This is unfortunate; for, entering it, Advent believers find it is far from what they expected. "

Continue Part 1


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